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  • 25 January 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • The DW Stadium, Wigan
  • Referee: J. Moss
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Wigan Athletic - Aston Villa Preview: Jean Makoun set to make debut as Latics are without suspended Gary Caldwell

Wigan Athletic - Aston Villa Preview: Jean Makoun set to make debut as Latics are without suspended Gary Caldwell

TEAM NEWS

Wigan Athletic

Wigan come into their home game on Tuesday without centre-back Gary Caldwell who is suspended for the next three games after being sent off in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

Emmerson Boyce is likely to partner Steven Caldwell at centre-back. James McCarthy could return to the starting line-up having been in the squad on Saturday for the first time since injuring his ankle in October.

He didn’t make it onto the pitch but with an extra couple of days training McCarthy could be ready to make a return.

Roberto Martinez may look to use Franco Di Santo in a two-man attack after scoring just two goals in their last four Premier League games.

Possible starting XI: Al Habsi; Stam, Boyce, S Caldwell, Gohouri; Watson, McCarthy, Diame, N’Zogbia; Di Santo, Rodallega.

Aston Villa

Jean Makoun looks set to make his debut for the club following his transfer from Olympique Lyonnais. He wasn’t registered in time to play in Saturday’s 1-0 win against Manchester City but he will start the game as Houllier looks to add extra beef to his midfield.

Makoun will likely take Marc Albrighton’s place in an otherwise unchanged team.

New signing Darren Bent will continue to partner Gabriel Agbonlahor up-front as they look to secure back-to-back victories for the first time in the Premier League this season.

Possible starting XI: Friedel; Cuellar, Collins, Dunne, Clark; Young, Makoun, Petrov, Downing; Agbonlahor, Bent.

More goals needed

If Wigan are to secure a much-needed win they are going to have to cause more of a threat going forward. This season in the Premier League they have scored less goals than anyone else, having breached their opponents' defences just 19 times in 23 league games.

Their top scorer this season is Hugo Rodallega with six goals and he is the only striker to have scored any goals for Wigan this season. Charles N’Zogbia and the injured Tom Cleverley have both scored three goals each.

Roberto Martinez’s options are limited however as record summer signing Mauro Boselli moved to Genoa on loan until the end of the season and Franco Di Santo has scored just one goal in his Premier League career.

Looking for improvement

Aston Villa are looking for their first back-to-back wins this season after beating title contenders Manchester City. Villa’s win on Saturday took them three points away from the drop zone but all the good work from Saturday could be for nothing if they lose to relegation rivals Wigan.

If Wigan beat them then the two teams will be level on points and Villa will again be perilously close to the drop zone. Villa have scored just nine goals this season but in Darren Bent they have a striker who has scored that many goals himself this season.

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Players to watch

C. N'Zogbia

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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N’Zogbia is the type of player that can create something out of nothing. His trickery and quick feet are a nightmare for defenders and it is no wonder that a number of clubs are rumoured to be interested in the winger.

He has contributed three goals and three assists for low scoring Wigan this season and once again they will be looking to him for inspiration.

D. Bent

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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People questioned the amount of money paid for the England international but he showed in his debut that he is a goal scorer. He has scored as many goals this season as Aston Villa have away from home in the league and his goals will ensure that Villa stay away from the relegation zone.

He can be relied upon to score goals regularly in this league, something which is an expensive asset to have.

Editor's Prediction

With their new recruits I can’t see anything other than an Aston Villa victory. Wigan are struggling in the league and will continue to do so until they start to cause more of a goal threat. For a change Brad Friedel should have a relatively easy afternoon.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Wigan Athletic

Aston Villa

Wins
1
2
2
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Wigan Athletic FC WIG
Wigan Athletic FC Wigan Athletic
Draw
Aston Villa FC AST
Aston Villa FC Aston Villa
16%
16%
68%

Top 3 Predictions

Wigan Athletic FC WIG
1 - 2
Aston Villa FC AST
Wigan Athletic FC WIG
0 - 2
Aston Villa FC AST
Wigan Athletic FC WIG
0 - 1
Aston Villa FC AST

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